Cress by Marissa Meyer

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

cress coverI just love this series. The characters are perfect, the world-building is great, villain is easy to hate and the love stories don’t overwhelm the plot. In this novel, we meet Cress for the first time. Cress, a Lunar “shell” who has none of the usual Lunar mental powers, has been trapped on a satellite for years, perfecting her hacking skills and protecting the Lunar space fleet from Earthen detection. She made contact with our heroine Cinder back in book one (Cinder, reviewed here), and Cinder and her team, including orphan Scarlet, genetically engineered fighter Wolf, Iko the android-turned spaceship, and the dashing fugitive Captain Thorne have finally gotten around to rescuing Cress. Naturally, the rescue goes wrong, the characters are split up, and Cinder’s plan to stop the evil Lunar queen Levana from marrying Emporer Kai and taking over Earth gets even more difficult.

Cress’s satellite crashes to Earth with her and Captain Thorne, who Cress has been crushing on since she first started reading about him on Earthen newsfeeds, aboard. Thorne goes blind in the crash, and Cress has never set foot on Earth before. Suddenly Thorne and Cress must work together to survive in the desert where they have crashed. They make an interesting pair, Thorne being the “tough guy” criminal and Cress being the naive young girl relying on him to keep her safe and trying convince Thorne he’s not as bad as he thinks. This isn’t a new theme in YA fantasy novels, but it was well-written and mostly believable. The only part I thought was strange was that (assuming my math is correct) Cress is about 14, and Thorne is around 20…which makes their love story a little weird as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I missed something so it’s not really as creepy as I think, haha.

I like how Meyer introduces new characters in this series without pushing out the characters from previous books. True, we don’t hear much from Scarlet and Wolf in this novel, but the overall plot of trying to stop Queen Levana stays consistent and in the forefront throughout the series. This impresses me, since often the love stories not only make me want to puke (was that too strong? haha), but they are often so important the initial plot is non-existent or completely ridiculous. My only very minor complaint about this series is Meyer’s insistence on basing her characters on fairy tales. Not that I necessarily mind, I just find it unnecessary. The books are excellent and don’t need those ideas to make me want to read them.

I love this series more with each book I read and I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait until NOVEMBER of 2015 for the final book, Winter. I recommend this book for readers of the first two Lunar Chronicles of course, and also readers who enjoy futuristic sci-fi YA novels. 5 stars out of 5.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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